Friday, October 31, 2008

Looking for Something to Do this Halloween


Why not try the Highball Halloween - Masquerade on High.  This Short North party is a bit Carnivale and a bit Mardi Gras and admission is free.  There could be opportunities to give a donation to the Short North Arts District.  Check out the web site for all the fun festivities.  Event starts at 6p and ends at midnight.





Creators of 30 Minute Infomercial

It's all over the news and everyone is talking about Obama's 30 Minute Infomercial that ran the other night.  We overhead people talking about it in Panera over coffee yesterday.

We aren't posting to show our support for one candidate over the other.  Being marketing professionals, we were very interested in finding out who the creators of the slick, strategically marketed infomercial were. 

Research found that three key players hand their hand in the creation:
  1. Jim Margolis from GMMB
  2. Mark Putnam from Murphy Putnam Media
  3. Davis Guggenheim from Hollywood - Director and Executive Producer

The two agencies put the ad format together and Guggenheim produced the human interest stories.

Both agencies are leaders in the political arena creating campaigns for many political figures, mostly democrat.  Murphy Putman has a strong political history.  GMMB has a strong political backstory as well coupled with an influential non-profit background, assisting foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The combination and strength of the two agencies resulted in a polished, humane 30 minutes. 

Regardless of your political preference, you have to admit the ad was a well-oiled machine. Maybe too oiled and polished?  We'll let you be the judge of that.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Meet Chef Brooke Kinsey

Powell, Ohio resident and Executive Chef/Culinary Instructor, Brooke Kinsey, brings nine years of professional experience, a distinguished culinary education, and a passionate and cheerful personality to the business. 


Brooke received her education at Johnson and Wales University, and has worked as an executive and personal chef.  She enjoys cooking with seasonal flavors, like apples and pumpkins in the autumn, and comfort food in the winter.  Brooke will be instructing all cooking classes. 


“I am excited about the unique concept Annette (Bellisari) has brought to Grandview.  The Culinary Table is different than anything in Columbus, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.  I envision some beautiful parties and incredible hand-on cooking classes.” 


The Culinary Table uniquely blends flavors and fragrance solely created for your memorable occasion. 


The Culinary Table is an intimate gathering venue and hands-on cooking classroom built with old world charm and a twist of modern flair.  Bellisari’s Catering and Natural Designs have fused their talents creating unforgettable celebrations filled with food, flowers, family and friends. 


Pull up a chair.  To reserve your seat at our table or to sign up for one of our cooking classes call 614.488.3714 or email info@theculinarytable.com.


Thank you Columbus Alive

After what seems like years of attacks, emails, commercials, SNL impressions, debates, boing newspaper articles,and hearing "I approve this message,"  it was refreshing to find a simple, unbiased breakdown of Barack Obama, John McCain, the minority party candidates, other offices on the ballot,  and statewide issues, in Columbus Alive's Voter Guide.  Personally, I have felt overwhelmed by such information overload, and find it hard to know what to listen to.  So, thank you Columbus Alive for weeding out the BS and summing up the facts.  (They also refer readers to check out the sample ballots).  





Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Changing Face of a Logo

After five months and around $1 million, Pepsi revealed its new look that officially launches in 2009.  The look moves from classic to adventurous, young and full of personality. Below are some of the evolving looks of the Pepsi brand. Pepsi has actually had 11 looks in its 110 year history, five of those over the last 21 years.  The last time Pepsi was changed was 2002.
The white band in the new Pepsi logo is supposed to represent a smile.  Pepsi will have a full smile, Diet Pepsi will have a grin, and Pepsi Max will have a laugh.

What do you think?  Do you like it?  Maybe too trendy?  We think it also resembles a certain political candidate's logo.






Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chocolate Introduction

Today is National World Chocolate Day - one of our favorite holidays that we intend to practice quite a bit!

To tie in this fun holiday we created a gorilla marketing campaign for our client, The Culinary Table.

Natural Designs created lovely arrangements.  The Culinary Table's chef has made delicious chocolate goodies.  Combined with this postcard that we created they are going to drop off gifts to some current and potential corporate clients.
 
 A beautiful and delicious way to introduce themselves, not to mention very inexpensive with big impact.  After all, who can turn down chocolate?

Happy National Chocolate Day to everyone!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fundraising Luncheon

Friday afternoon we were invited to be guests at the Annual Camp Fire Luncheon and to sit at the table of Camp Fire's President and CEO.  

This one hour lunch was delicious, informative, celebratory, nostalgic and very moving. The room was filled with over 400 captivated people.  Learning about the organization and their impact over the last 80 years was powerful.   Camp Fire really has changed the lives of many central Ohioans. Former campers stay connected and loyal to this non-profit organization and many become camp counselors, advocates, or board members.  

A short video of a few long-time campers being interviewed clearly expressed what Camp Fire means to them and so many others.  The video setting was the beautiful camp grounds.  It made you want to be there, especially when hearing the birds chirping and the young campers singing in the background.

The moving part of the program was when a single mother and her older son told their story. For them Camp Fire was life-changing.  The mother, unable to afford camping, was able to get funding for her son to attend, funding that changed their lives. The mother spoke of how proud she was of her son and of the man he has become.  She tearfully attributed that to his Camp Fire experience.  Her son, now a camp counselor himself, has become a positive role model to current day campers.

After the short heartwarming program their Board Chair spoke of thanks for 80 wonderful years, as well as the desperate needs for the coming years.  Funding is needed to get more children into nature.  It's important for their health.  So many central Ohio kids have never even seen a forest and spend way too much time in front of the TV, computer or video games.

Table captains passed out pledge envelopes and everyone filled them out pledging financial assistance for the next year. Looking around we saw that everyone was writing, getting out check books and wallets.

This simple luncheon and program was an incredibly smart fundraising tool. Having a luncheon lowers the fundraising expense over having a huge gala dinner.  The program was simple, but compelling.  A connection was made with the audience.  Using the nostalgic slide show, short video, and most importantly, the mother and her son had a lasting and powerful impact.  Camp Fire's event was a success.  Many non-profits could learn from this smart, well thought out event.

Thanks to Amy Boyd for allowing us to be guests at her table.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to helping Camp Fire Central as they begin planning their 100th celebration!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy World Pasta Day


World Pasta Day is serious business.  They have a logo, pr events, key messages and a strategic mission - economic feasibility, gastronomic versatility, and nutritional value.  Wow, I never knew pasta was so serious!

The Wheat Foods Council wants you to learn about all the pastabilities (not making that up).

So manja, manja (words my nonna always said to me every time I visited).
Today is a perfect day to take in Olive Garden, Fazoli's or in Columbus, Ohio Marcella's (that's my vote).  Enjoy! Ciao'

Friday, October 24, 2008

Go Make A Difference

Tomorrow is Make A Difference Day.  The national day of helping others.

It's a great day to volunteer and the Buckeye's game is late so you have plenty of time to put your time and talents to great work.

Columbus has quite a few listings looking for help.  Click here to see how you can get involved locally.  If you can't attend one of these, create something on your own - clean up trash in your neighborhood, rake a elderly neighbors yard, clean out your closet and donate the clothes to Good Will or a shelter.

Whatever it is you will make a difference and you'll feel great doing it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stroll For Epilepsy- Delaware Child chosen as Honorary Ambassador

~  If you are a member of the media, please contact us at 614.725.2561 or info@columbusimpressions.com .....
We are fortunate to be spending some time this Friday afternoon with a wonderful Delaware family we recently met, named the Raineys.  Their youngest daughter, Amanda has been chosen as the Honorary Ambassador for the Stroll For Epilepsy coming up in January.  The Rainey family consists of mom (Maryann), dad (Matt), eight-year-old Sara, four-year-old Zachary, and six-year-old Amanda.  

The local media has been invited to their Delaware home for a chance to meet Amanda, her family, and Irene Baird, the Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio. Should be a great photo opportunity!!! 

Amanda, who has suffered from seizures since she was six months old, has a big job ahead of her as the Honorary Child Ambassador. The Rainey family has been involved with the Epilepsy Foundation Stroll for five years and are thrilled to advocate, raise funds and help in every way for this year’s event. Matt Rainey, a Market Operations Support Analyst for AEP, got his company involved and they are the presenting sponsor this year.

Members of the media are welcome to contact us for more information! info@columbusimpressions.com or 614.725.2561

High School Musical and Persuasive Tweens

This weekend High School Musical 3 makes its big screen debut.  This group of high schoolers has become Disney's most successful franchise and many brands are jumping on this success.  After all, the movie targets tweens - kids aged 8-14 - and tweens are quickly becoming the most influential and powerful target group.  Last year this age group was responsible for over $1 trillion (T as in that's a lot) in spending world-wide.  

Some brands attaching themselves to this movie in hopes these kids will work their power of persuasion over their parents are: Kleenex, Sara Lee, Yoplait, Honda, and Kellogg's.  It will be interesting to see if sales spike for these brands.  Our guess, they will.  

Whether you like it or not, High School Musical and its brand partnerships will most likely be around for quite some time.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Musical Mood

Turn up the volume.  

We just added some new tunes on our site from Reverbnation.  We add the music to set a mood, create an experience and give you a little idea of who we are.  What do you think?  Does the music entice you to visit the site a little longer?  We hope so.  Enjoy!

Unveiling a New Logo

We created a new logo for our client the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio.  While the old logo served a great purpose for years, it was time to create a new look.  In the design we wanted to clearly convey the brand value of this event. 
  
Now it's on to creating the event brochure, posters and on-sight signage.   

If you're in the Columbus, Ohio area mark you calendar for January 31, 2009 and join us at the Polaris Fashion Place from 8:30-11:00a.m.   We can't think of a better way to get some exercise in the middle of winter.  

Call 614.358.0874 for information on how you can register.




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harrisons on Third or Hamptons on King?

Branding alert!  Beep boop bop bop.  That is the siren for unclear, easily confused brands.  It's similar to my nerd impression, but this is specifically for marketing nerds.  We have posted about these two new(ish) restaurants in town, Hamptons on King and Harrison's on Third, but never really discussed the problem here.  Obviously the names are similar, but they also happen to be within a few blocks of each other, and appeal to the same market.  But here's the kicker:  Hamptons on King used to be located where Harrison's on Third now is (previously called B. Hamptons).  AND Hamptons on King is now located where Estrada's was.   So, there are name changes, closings and openings all in one!  That will give you a hangover just reading about it!  

Anyway, it doesn't really take a marketing nerd to figure out that it's no good for business when the two names are indistinguishable.  Especially when there could be slurred speech involved.

Thoughts fellow bloggers and Columbus happy hour patrons?

Monday, October 20, 2008

We Smell A Nittany Lion


This weekend is the biggest, BIG Ten match-up thus far - OSU and Penn State.  All the makings of a great game - both team undefeated in the conference and a night game.  Even though the game is being played in Columbus, there might be an overpowering smell of Nittany Lions.

Why?  Because a company called Masik makes Collegiate Fragrances and one of their scents is of Penn State University. The only Big Ten school to have a scent so far.  

Masik is the only company of its kind to make distinctive fragrances reflecting each schools unique and distinguished characteristics.  Creating a product like this will surely connect with consumers that our passionate about their Alma mater.

When creating a school fragrance they consider school colors, mascot spirit, landmarks, campus trees and flowers, and traditions.

OSU doesn't have a fragrance yet. But if they did what do you think it would smell like?  We'd love to hear your comments.

Want OSU to have a fragrance?  Email Masik at newuniversity@masik.com.  If they license the product a percentage of each bottle sold would go to the university scholarship and athletic fund.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Burberry Brand Comes to Columbus

Start saving your money now. A Burberry store is opening up in Easton this spring. Burberry has 50 U.S. stores, the closet to Columbus being Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

This British luxury brand has been around for 152 years with their signature being tan plaid. Known for their trench coats, a raincoat is priced around $1,450. For "cheaper" merchandise you can find handbags averaging $1000, fragrances averaging $80 and button down shirts averaging $200.

Very stylish, very expensive but it should fit right in with neighbors Henry Bendel and Tiffany & Co.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Running the Columbus Marathon - Give Colleen Props!

Giving a shout out, some props to Colleen who is running the Columbus Half Marathon this weekend!  

I on the other hand will be rooting her on at some downtown corner.  Too bad we didn't make columbus imPRessions logo wear - a headband or shorts would have been cool - we could have had maximum brand exposure!

Maybe I'll create a banner and hold it high.  Kind of like this virtual banner.
Seriously proud of you Colleen!  Love you too! :)

Ordering a Pizza This Weekend?


Pizza Hut launched a Pizza Hut Inferface Application on Facebook.  That's right, you can now order pizza via social networking.  Not only order pizza but see photos, videos, enter sweepstakes, donate to World Hunger Relief 2008.  So far Pizza Hut is the only pizza chain to market in this way.

To launch this new marketing sensation and to lure more fans Pizza Hut's owner, Yum Brands, created the "Lotta Pizza Lotto".  Any Facebook users who become a Pizza Hut fan through the end of the year will be eligible for a weekly $50 gift card prize.

We are fans!  We love Pizza!  Become a fan here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Power of a Tweet

Last night during the presidential debate I had my MacBook open to Twitter.  It was so amusing as I watched the tweets fly.  Comments on the candidates were made about everything from body language, policy positions, demeanor, and even Joe the plumber.  Watching all of this, it made me wonderful if either camp had monitors scanning all the comments to see if they could get a read on who won the debate, or if one candidate had more Twitter fans than the other.

It most likely did happen.  A growing number of companies are paying close attention to Twitter using a scanning tool, Tweetscan, to see what people are saying. Brands are paying close attention to this micro-social networking site.  If companies are doing it, I'm sure political parties are too. You only have 140 characters to speak your mind, but those characters can sway other tweeters - positively or negatively.  

Quite a few positive, negative, and hilarious comments were made last night about both candidates.  I guess we'll find out how everyone is really feeling on election day.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Learn . . Love . . Live - Cancer Cooking Classes

Enjoy cooking?

Starting next month our client, The Culinary Table (located in Grandview) will be hosting monthly Cancer Cooking Classes.   These classes teach nutrition for caregivers, family, patients, or anyone wanting to have fun and learn through cooking.

For more information contact info@theculinarytable.com.






Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Drink Pink Day

Wendy's will be offering Pink Frosty Shakes today (October 14th) and will donate $1.00 for each shake to the American Cancer Society.

Spread the word through the Drink Pink web site and you can get a $1.00 off coupon for a premium sandwich combo or salad.

The site will also give you tips on how the American Cancer Society is helping to find a cure for breast cancer.  

Lots of media sponsors for this one so hopefully Columbus will hear about this cause marketing campaign.  We're doing our part to spread the word.

Support breast cancer month and stop by Wendy's today for your Pink Drink!

Got Facebook?  Join their Group.  We did!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Apple Field Trips - Education or Marketing?

After all the tag line is:  Apple Retail Store. Come to shop. Return to learn.

Students K-12 can come to the Apple store for a creative field trip.  Students can create a really cool class project or present a project at the store using their products.  Teachers can even have their class try out the Apple mobile labs.

Smart.  Get the kids in, let them "learn" on the product, and just like that, they are hooked. Great way to market to a new customer base.  Well, and teach them a little too.

All participating kids leave with a free T-shirt.  Great way to market to kids who haven't gone but see the t-shirt and now want to go.

Apple can also send out personalized field trip invitations for parents, teachers and friends. Bet they'd be happy to!   Quite an inexpensive direct marketing piece.

Looks like the old saying "An apple a day" is taking on a whole other meaning.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Brand Consistency, Oh So Important

Keeping your brand consistent is very important, especially when building a new business. Consistency is essential for a brand because it creates clarity of purpose, and even more importantly, trust and confidence for consumers.

Brand definition, brand imaging and key messages need to be clear and should not vary. Once defined, employees need to buy into the brand and should refrain from creating changes.  If not, the brand becomes cloudy and confusion sets in threatening brand equity.

Not sure what your brand is?  Look at your business and clarify what its does, write down words describing your business and create a brand prism, mission and vision statements. Before you know it, your brand will start to come to life on paper.  

Need assistance, contact columbus imPRessions.  With strategic planning we can help build your brand and brand prism.  Contact us at info@columbusimpressions.com.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Welcoming New Client Epilepsy Foundation

We are pleased to welcome the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio to the columbus imPRession's family!

We will work with the local chapter on the Stroll for Epilepsy Event - creating PR opportunities, as well as working with a graphic designer to create event marketing pieces.

We look forward to working with this fine organization.

Chip off the Old Pringle

Fun cause marketing campaign to share . . .

This week Pringles started an interactive cause marketing campaign asking consumers to design their own can.

This campaign will give their brand a boost, as well as help the Children's Miracle Network. Create your own can with the Can Creator and for every can P&G will donate $1.00 (up to $20,000).  Campaign runs through June.

Visit the site to create your can or vote for your favorite, like ours.  Yes, we made our own can.



It's called imPRession, of course.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For All Our Columbus Media Friends

Not sure if you've heard of or subscribe to HARO(Help A Reporter Out).   

If not, try HARO - www.helpareporter.com.  

It's a totally free source repository of over 35,000 sources on every topic. 
Email subscribers (which columbus imPRessions is one) receive three email queries a day from Peter Shankman (follow him on Twitter at skydiver).

Over 6,000 reporters already use it!
Great source!


Cross-Eyed But Smiling

In creating marketing concepts for a client today we spent quite a bit of time searching for the perfect font.   Our eyes may be crossed but we found a couple good sites to get some free fonts that are worth passing on:


Tons of good fonts to choose from.  We're smiling and hopefully when our client opens their email box today they will be smiling too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

SNL's Influence

Speaking of Mavericks . . .
Everyone knows that Tina Fey and Sarah Palin are twins separated at birth.  We love Tina Fey and think she is brilliant.

But is the funny twin on Saturday Night Live hurting the brand image of the Vice President contender?

For the last few weeks SNL has done a pretty good job imitating the Vice Presidential candidate. The outfits, hairdos, accent and mannerisms are pretty right on the money.  So, is the tongue and cheek humor making the public think Palin is not quite ready for the job hurting her image?  

We're not sure if SNL has that much influence.  The skits are, however, getting quite a bit of attention.  In fact, yesterday while we were meeting at Panera and talking about the funny SNL skit last weekend (love the beer drinking Maverick reference - hilarious) a woman (typically not fitting the SNL demographic) overhead us and joined in the conversation adding she thought the skit was very funny. 

Maybe SNL won't sway voters, but they sure are creating a buzz and creating some sort of influence.

Monday, October 6, 2008


In looking at our last few posts, I have noticed how hard we have been working. And I think there is only one word for Team Michele and Colleen right now........ Mavericks.

Breast Cancer Patient Cooking Classes

We are creating a marketing piece for our client today. The Culinary Table will be hosting and teaching cooking classes for Breast Cancer Patients and/or Caregivers. What a great way to start their business, give back to a wonderful cause, and hopefully get some media attention during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

We are currently working on finalizing the details and will have the marketing piece and a media advisory soon! This will make a great visual story for all health reporters in the Columbus area! More to come soon!

Rays are Devils No More

Even major league baseball teams can undergo a brand change. Take the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for example. For starters, the team dropped "devil" from their name and are now the Rays. They are sporting a new logo and a new uniform color - blue (from the previous green).

Why the change? To boost fan support. Attendance has been terrible. In fact, it has been so bad they hired an old P&G brand specialist to help develop consumer touch points to increase the fun creating a ballpark experience. Now true Rays fans can meet the coaches or players before the games, get fun trinkets, and can be seen on the interactive JumboTron.

Is the new brand approach working? Well, sales are up 30% and and when the ballpark packs 30,000 or more fans the winning streak is stronger. Since the change the at home record moved up 20-2.

Looks like fabric softener branding works for baseball too!

Friday, October 3, 2008

La Jeune Mariee

Our second newest client is Worthington bridal boutique, La Jeune Mariee. La Jeune Mariee is an intimate bridal boutique featuring wedding gowns from several premiere designers. Owner, Lindsay prides her business on giving each bride-to-be personal attention since individual appointments are made. You definitely feel extra special shopping for your bridal gown of your dreams!

Having new ownership, La Jeune Mariee is looking to create awareness and a new web site to match their brand image. We are exciting to assist Lindsay and La Jeune Mariee with PR and build their marketing image! We will provide updates as they come!

The Culinary Table

Our newest client, The Culinary Table is in Grandview. This new business will be opening in mid-October and will host intimate celebrations, cooking classes and showcase sophisticated floral designs. They knew what they wanted to do in the venue, had the logo and quite a few ideas. They just need some strategic marketing and PR. That's where we came in.

We started off by creating their messaging, and defined their brand - very fun stuff! This is what we created (and they loved)!

The Culinary Table
Pull up a chair

A unique blend of flavors and fragrance solely created for your memorable occasion.

A Bellisari's Company, The Culinary Table is an intimate gathering venue and hand-on cooking classroom built with old world charm and a twist of modern flair. Bellisari's Catering and Natural Designs have fused their talents creating unforgettable celebrations filled with food, flowers, family and fun.

Now we will work to create awareness through some great PR opportunities, create marketing materials and work with a designer to create their web site. Lots of fun ideas.

Keep a look out for this new unique venue at 1664 W.First Avenue, Grandview, OH 43212. We'll track our progress and keep you posted.

What A Day!!!!!!

This is the type of day a small business owner dreams about. We signed on two new clients both in the bridal/wedding/venue arena.

We are proud to welcome:
The Culinary Table
and
La Jeune Mariee Boutique
to the columbus imPRessions family.

More info on these great clients soon!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VP Debate

In about a half an hour the big debate will be on and all eyes will be glued to the set.  We will be watching too.  We want to hear the opinions of both sides, but we will also be looking at the marketing magic behind it all.

For starters there is a slick logo for the event.  Let's hope the candidates are as slick tonight.  We'll be watching and seeing what other unique finds we can mention tomorrow.

Did You Hear That Bird?

One of the hottest new social networking or micro blogging sites is Twitter. Yes, it's been around for awhile, but now it seems everyone is getting one. Even Channel 4 and some of its reporter/anchors are twittering.

So are we. Follow us at http://twitter.com/cbusimPRessions

What is Twitter? Twitter is a service for people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Very similar to the status update on Facebook, you give an update in 140 characters or less as many times as you'd like. You can also select various people to follow which means you get updates on what they are doing.

Another fun tool to network and convey some important message, or possibly even "virtual" word of mouth marketing.

Tweet tweet!

columbus imPRessions has joined the Chamber


No, we're not talking about the one on High Street... We joined the Grandview/ Marble Cliff Chamber of Commerce!    The columbus imPRessions business address is out of Grandview and it is such a close community, an ideal place to grow our business and network.  By the way, does anyone know of a better word for 'networking'?  It just sounds intentional, unnatural and sort of selfish.  I prefer friendnetting.     

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Business? Think Philanthropic

Yesterday we met with the manager of a new business opening in Grandview in February. The purpose of our meeting? Sure we went to network and put our word of mouth marketing skills to practice, but more importantly, to discuss some non-profit partnerships.

This business, based out of Cincinnati, has partnered with non-profit organizations in other cities near opening day. Giving back to the community, they allow one organization to hold an event in their establishment free of charge and all the food and drink for the evening is on the house.

All the non-profit needs to do is help spread the word to their constituents through an email blast, web listing, or mailing. What a great way to hold a cultivation event, or thank donors and volunteers for their support.

For the business this is smart because they are networking, meeting many people who will become customers, they are getting their business name out in the public with little or no advertising, they feel great helping a local non-profit organization.

Curious as to who we met with? A new restaurant to Columbus that has a great vibe, and everyone's favorite food. Did that clue help? If not, it begins with a D.

When you partner with a non-profit everyone wins! If you are a new or existing company that would like to connect with a non-profit organization but don't know where to begin contact columbus imPRessions at info@columbusimpressions.com. We can help!

Also check out http://inkindconnection.blogpspot.com for a listing of local non-profits that need your help now.